'Claire made me walk a long way (again)'....

Trip Start Sep 24, 2012
Trip End Nov 02, 2012

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Flag of Czech Republic  , Hlavní město Praha,
Saturday, October 20, 2012

.....but I saw The car with 4 legs'
(Michael's refrain for the day)

As we left the apartment Ruth was relaxing with tea and toast (and washing jumpers). The day was grey and rather brisk; making the nose tingle and the fingers a bit chilled.
After seeing so much internal features of the castle, we wanted to see the extensive gardens surrounding. The lower section is the Stag moat park of the Castle Royal gardens. It was like a forrest after the winding path through from the roadway we started from. The autumn colours were stunning on the many trees that we could look through up to the Castle. The path lead right along the boundary and through a tunnel before looping back to one of the entrance paths. We could then go to the Summer Palace and gardens. Very tranquil and beautiful. A pity that the poor queen it was being built for died in childbirth with her 14th child before it was finished.
As we walked back through the castle grounds, we experienced how busy Prague can be on a weekend. It was hard to get through some places, so in the peak season it must be almost impossible.

The Lobkowicz museum was highly recommended in my trusty Lonely Planet. Ruth and Mark had visited once I passes on this info. They agreed it was the best so far and although we are up to pussy's bow with museums, we visited. It was a very special museum as its operated by and has the audio tour by the family whose heritage and collected treasures are displayed after twice loosing everything and then having restitution. The Lobkowicz heritage is easily traced back to the 13th C and is associated with all the royal families and families of power over the centuries. The family escaped to the USA in 1939 and all property was confiscated by the Nazi's. they had restitution and then the communist regime also took all possessions. After the Velvet Revolution in 1989 they once again have been able to start reclaiming property. Martin was 10 when fleeing in 1939 and does a small narration about his memories of riding his bike door the corridors of a 200 plus room palace under the scornful eye of his ancestors. His son William is the driving force with the museum and had a wonderful personal style in taking you through the palace on the audio tour; as if personally taking you through the house. One ancestor (the 7th Prince Lobkowicz) was a benefactor of Beethoven and was critical in enabling home to be free to compose. Beethoven dedicated two pieces to the Prince- the 5th symphony and Pastoral 6th. Original Mozart and Beethoven scores were on display. My heroin was a 16C wife of one ancestor who had 22 children. With the childbirth maternal death rate at the time, she must have been concerned her luck for survival was running out.

The day remained shrouded with some fog but the gardens walk I was taking us on was fine in these conditions. The place has steep embankments made into colourful highly terraced gardens, from which were visited the Wallenstein palace ( which houses the Czech Senate) and gardens. A strange mixture of items including an a airy with 3 eagle owls, a false stalactite grotto, copies of bronze statues stolen by the Swedes and a massive fishpond and fountain with the largest carp I have ever seen.

Our journey meanders along the river, some more Cerny baby statues, yellow penguins aiding water navigation, and the John Lennon Wall. Through. Though nothing remains of the original art and messages which started the wall at death due to,weathering and the Maltese Embassy who owns the wall originally cleaning it off, it remains a long colourful expanse of wall with paintings, song lyrics and messages of peace.
Our final destination was the German Embassy gardens to see another Cerny sculpture- a car on 4 human legs made to commemorate all the German refugees that camped out in gardens before the wall came down. We could see view this through a children park fence, so time to play after the serious work of art viewing. Ruth and I had fun (see photos)!!
A concert at the Rudolfinum nearby to finish off our time in Prague- a quintette playing a selection of classics featuring Dvorak. Many of my favourites were included, e.g. Dvoraks Humoresque, Pachelbel's Canon. Dinner was so good at Tri Stilletto last night we returned for dinner. Just as good as last nite. The best meals in Prague.
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